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The

cartoon
introduction to
economics
volume two: macroeconomics
By
Grady Klein
and
Yoram Bauman
,
Ph.D.
the Worlds first and only Stand-up Economist
contents
Introduction, page 3
Trade and Technology, page 89
The Role of Government, page 73
Unemployment, page 17
The Classical View of Trade, page 99
Money, page 31
Complications, page 111
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), page 59
Foreign Currencies, page 139
Inflation, page 45
Foreign Aid, page 125
Chapter 1
Chapter 7
Chapter 3
Chapter 9
Chapter 2
Chapter 8
Chapter 4
Chapter 10
Chapter 5
Chapter 11
The End of the Business Cycle? page 153
The End of Poverty? page 167
The End of Youth? page 193
The End, page 207
page 219
The End of Planet Earth? page 179
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 15
Chapter 14
Chapter 16
Glossary
Chapter 6
PART ONE:
a single
macroeconomy
PART Three:
global macroeconomics
PART TWO:
international trade
chapter 8
The classical view of trade
The economy is like
a well-oiled machine...
...and trade gives it
a turbo boost!
100
Trade is pretty
awesome...
...Just like
technological
progress!
If a foreign country can supply us
with a commodity cheaper than we
ourselves can make it...
The way that classical economists like Adam Smith look at
international trade is simple and powerful...
...and comes directly from the view that the macroeconomy
is like a well-organized family.
Although trade creates losers as well as winners,
classical economists focus on the gains to society as a whole.
...better buy it [from] them
with some part of the produce of
our own industry, employed in a
way in which we have
some advantage.
It is the maxim of
every prudent master
of a family...
...never to attempt to
make at home what it will
cost him more to
make than to buy.
101
Congratulations,
you win the
Nobel prize!
classical economists also emphasize that trade between
two countries can benefit both countries.
In 1817 DAViD RiCARDOs theory of COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE showed that
these MUTUAL BENEFiTS are possible when countries are DiFFERENT...
...but modern economists believe that MUTUAL BENEFITS
are possible even when countries are SiMiLAR.
Paul Krugman won the 2008 Nobel Prize
for his work in this area.
Just like trade
between two
people...
...can benefit
both people!
PORTUGAL has a
good climate for
growing grapes.
swedes make
volvos.
germans make
bmws.
we can both
gain from
trade!
england has a
good climate for
growing wheat.
Lets trade bottles of wine
for bags of flour!
And if we ever start
trading with other planets,
I can explain that too!
102
...but you can also easily see the benefits
of trading with other countries...
the benefits of trade are most obvious when you think
about families trading with OTHER FAMiLiES...
Without you,
mrs. taylor,
my life would be
threadbare!
look, here comes
Monsieur Chapeau!
Oh, bless your soul,
Mr. Shoemaker.
without the french,
I dont know how
wed get AHEAD.
103
...or even
with aliens.
Take me to your
leading economist.
104
im better off,
and so is my new
friend zantrok!
Zeekrox floudz,
hoogha hoo
ghow zgr steve!
...then this alien encounter would be
pretty awesome for both sides.
...and if both sides engage
peacefully in free trade...
If we encounter beings from
another planet...
You might not think that Adam Smith
would have much to say about aliens...
...but in fact classical economics teaches us
an important lesson about interstellar trade:
life on other
planets?
im still getting used
to the idea of life in
south america.
or if they
encounter us!
...
And NO
BULLYiNG!
Want this
candy bar? Then you have to
TRADE ME for it...
105
We earthlings would benefit regardless of whether
the aliens were LESS ADVANCED than us...
Plus there would be added benefits from
sharing new varieties of food and arts.
...OR MORE ADVANCED.
Cancer? Heck, we
cured that eons ago.
need a hand
with that?
can you believe that
the price of admission is
just one avocado?
Whats
an avocado?
Life was much harder
before we humans
discovered the planet
Gxhsnael!
Life was much harder
before the Gxhsnaelians
discovered planet earth!
106
of course, there would be a downside:
interstellar trade would create
LOSERS as well as WiNNERS.
but Classical economists respond to
concerns about OUTSOURCiNG...
...by pointing out that FAMiLieS engage in OUTSOURCiNG too.
whether youre a family, a country, or a planet,
outsourcing allows you to focus on what youre good at.
nothing is
made on planet
Earth anymore.
its no wonder
you lost your job.
My job
got outsourced
to Xanrak 7!
Thats why there are
so many families named
Shoemaker and Taylor
and baker...
well, You dont bake
your own BREAD,
do you?!
...and so few
families named
Everything.
well make
jetpacks...
...and well all
gain from trade!
...well make
pharmaceuticals...

We do?
how?
107
the idea that OUTSOURCiNG
iS GOOD FOR SOCiETY
may seem shocking...
This also explains why classical economists
believe that the best thing about trade
isnt EXPORTiNG...
...but IMPORTiNG.
As always, this classical view parallels the perspective of
a WELL-ORGANiZED FAMILY.
...but remember that classical economists
view the economy as a finely tuned
job-creating machine.
How can it be
good when i
lose my job?
No big deal, the
economy will create
a new job for you!
...but Whats really
great is all the COOL
STUFF we can BUY.
Everybody always
talks about how trade
CREATES JOBS...
so The only reason to
get a job working for
SOMEBODY ELSE...
Theres always work
to do here at home.
...is to get money
so you can BUY
STUFF!
108
...like currency manipulation...
The classical view of these activities is that you
SHOULDNT WORRY ABOUT THEM.
...and dumping.
theyre exporting ray guns
to us at prices below their
cost of production.
...theyre trying to
steal the market!
Thats dumping, and
thats not fair...
Currency
manipulation
and dumping are
good for us.
Classical economists also take an unexpected position
on issues of unfair competition...
Theyre keeping their
currency artificially cheap
to promote their exports!
Exchange $1 for...
.66
.78
86
150
pounds
Euros
Yen
glakons
109
And once again there is a parallel with families.
as with outsourcing, this classical view is driven by
a confident attitude about job creation...
...and by a focus on imports, not exports.
Currency manipulation
and dumping mean that
we pay less for the
stuff we want!
would you complain if
mr. shoemaker was
selling you boots at prices
that were too low?
well, no.
duh.
then Dont worry,
be happy!
We earthlings might have to stop
making ray guns, but the economy
will create jobs elsewhere.
its creative
destruction!
on sale !
149,999 glakons
(only $999.
99
!!)
110
As well see in the next chapter, this classical perspective
can be a little simplistic.
nonetheless, classical economics contributes valuable ideas to
discussions of free trade, whether its with a neighboring planet...
...or with a neighboring household or country.
Why fight aliens
when we can trade
with them?
commerce...ought naturally
to be, among nations,
as among individuals...
On the one hand,
theres the classical
view of trade.
On the other hand,
there are some
complications.
What about
the 3rd, 4th,
and 5th hands?
...a bond of union
and friendship...
Praise for The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volume One: Microeconomics
Learning economics should be fun.
Klein and Bauman make sure that it is.
N.Gregory Mankiw, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, and author of Principles of Economics
Bauman and Klein present solid basic economics in a brilliant cartoon wrapper.
Hugo Sonnenschein, Distinguished Service Professor and President Emeritus, University of Chicago
Need to understand todays economy?
This is the book for you. The Cartoon Introduction to
Economics, Volume Two: Macroeconomics is the most
accessible, intelligible, and humorous introduction to
unemployment, inflation, and debt youll ever read.
Whereas Volume One: Microeconomics dealt with the optimizing
individual, Volume Two: Macroeconomics explains the factors that
affect the economy of an entire country, and indeed the planet. It explores
the two big concerns of macroeconomics: how economies grow and
why economies collapse. It illustrates the basics of the labor market
and explains what the GDP is and what it measures, as well as the influence of
government, trade, and technology on the economy. Along the way, it
covers the economics of global poverty, climate change, and the
business cycle. In short, if any of these topics have cropped up in a news story
and caused you to wish you grasped the underlying basics, buy this book.
An environmental economist at
the University of Washington,
Yoram Bauman, Ph.D., is
the worlds first and only
stand-up economist.
A freelance cartoonist,
illustrator, and animator,
Grady Klein is the creator
of the Lost Colony series
of graphic novels.
Hill and Wang
A division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux
www.fsgbooks.com
Cover design and art by Grady Klein
BUSINESS and economics / GRAPHIC NOVELS
ISBN: 978-0-8090-3361-4
9 7 8 0 8 0 9 0 3 3 6 1 4
5 1 7 9 5
People dont usually chuckle over unemployment, inflation, and recessions. But theyll
get plenty of laughs out of this bookand a good introduction to macro too.
Eric Maskin, Nobel Laureate in Economics
If you dont want to cry about the state of the economy, why not laugh instead?
This book is an ideal introduction to macroeconomics for anybody who thinks
they ought to understand whats happening around them but is put off by dense
text and economics jargon.
Diane Coyle, author of The Economics of Enough
$17.95

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